August 26, 2019
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AWB's Federal Affairs Summit bridges divide, connects Congress and employers large and small



AWB’s Federal Affairs Summit was a resounding success in the Tri-Cities last week, with high-quality discussions on everything from innovation to energy and infrastructure.

More than 150 employers, legislators, members of Congress and others came together Tuesday at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to address the federal issues that impact Washington’s economy and quality of life. The lab’s newly-completed Discovery Hall provided an excellent venue for the event and served as a reminder of the importance of the federal installations to Washington’s economy.

In a divided time, the message of bipartisan cooperation to create results for Washington was well-received.

U.S. Reps. Derek Kilmer and Dan Newhouse participated in a wide-ranging panel discussion on bipartisanship, moderated by AWB President Kris Johnson. They shared their goals to help veterans, modernize Congress, support the Ex-Im Bank and invest in America’s aging infrastructure.

“Most people want to see Congress get something done,” Newhouse said.

U.S. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., also highlighted bipartisan work to complete the Yakima Basin Project, and thanked Newhouse and U.S. Rep. Kim Schrier, D-Wash., for their contributions.

“I mention that because it’s so important for us to work together,” she said. “...And I do believe that our state is showing that you can get things done in a bipartisan fashion even in these extraordinary times.”

AWB also hosted a reception at the Washington State University Wine Science Center on Monday evening, which allowed employers and lawmakers to mingle and connect over one of Washington’s most popular export products.

AWB’s Brian Mittge assembled a photo and social media roundup of the event, and the Tri-City Herald covered it with this news story and an editorial, in addition to a news package from CBS affiliate KEPR.

Public affairs network TVW partnered with AWB to provide full coverage of this special event. Please check out the links below to view panels and other remarks.

  •  Opening remarks from Kris Johnson, Dr. Steven Ashby, U.S. Rep. Dan Newhouse, and U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell: http://bit.ly/2ZksPd1


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Deadline for written comments on draft overtime rule Sept. 6
Support for Ex-Im Bank Grows


In Our View: Congress must reauthorize Ex-Im Bank now

By The Columbian Editorial Board

For 85 years, the federal Export-Import Bank has helped American corporations compete in the global marketplace. Now it is in need of reauthorization from Congress.

In recent years in Clark County, the bank has supported companies such as Conquest Consulting Group, Northwest Natural Products and Neil Jones Food Company. Across Washington, it has supported companies large and small in every region. About 90 percent of businesses that use Ex-Im Bank services are small businesses that provide local jobs and contribute to the local tax base.

The Ex-Im Bank, which provides and guarantees loans to help foreign entities make purchases from U.S. companies, is particularly important in our state, where an estimated 40 percent of all jobs are tied in some fashion to international trade...

Read the full editorial in The Columbian